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Declaration of Ponkes, an Indian of Marechkawick, Regarding the Destruction of a House, 1644
Before me, Cornelius van Tienhoven, secretary of New Netherland, appeared Ponkes, an Indian of Marechkawieck, who has been among the Indians, our enemies during the war, and who on the 7th of March last, in the presence of Jan Eversen Bout, Fredric Lubberz and Cors Pitersen, inhabitants here, and before the honorable fiscal, voluntarily made a statement in his own tongue, which tongue and statement of the Indian above mentioned the aforesaid persons declare fully to understand. Wherefore they, the deponents, declare that on the 7th of March last they heard the statement made by the Indian, who said that the Indians, our enemies, did not set Jochim [Pie]tersz’ house on fire, the more so they inquired among themselves who might have done it and were not able to learn that those who burned the house were Indians, notwithstanding the fact that the Indians when they commit any outrage boast of it and think that they have done a good and great thing. All of which the deponents declare to have heard from the Indian in the Indian language, offering to confirm the same.
Done in Fort Amsterdam in New Netherland, the 9th of March 1645.
The deponents refused to sign in the presence of the council and the undersigned witnesses, in whose presence they acknowledged that they had heard the foregoing from the Indian. Done as above.
Phillipe du Treux
Willem Briedenbent, under-sheriff
Before me, who also understand the Indian language and likewise heard the same from
the Indian, Cornelius van Tienhoven, Secretary
[* Translations from Arnold Van Laer, trans.,
New York Historical Manuscripts: Register of the Provincial Secretary, 1642-1647
(Baltimore, Genealogical Pub. Co, 1974), 200-201, 297, 298.]
any outrage boast of it and think that they have done a good and great thing”?